Chester Zoo support conservation with the World Land Trust
The World Land Trust (WLT) visit Chester Zoo to see our award-winning exhibit from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010 and to plan future collaborations with the zoo to support worldwide conservation
On a recent visit to Chester Zoo, staff from the World Land Trust (WLT) had the opportunity to see our award-winning exhibit from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010 that was rebuilt in the zoo’s Tropical Realm. The exhibit not only showcases the beauty of the Atlantic Rainforest, but also raises awareness about the need to conserve this critically threatened habitat. WLT work within three areas of the Atlantic Rainforest with partner organisations in Brazil, Paraguay, and the Misiones province of Argentina. Sir David Attenborough, WLT’s Patron, said:
“I am of the opinion that tropical forests must be saved at all cost. And as Patron of the World Land Trust I applaud their decision to bring attention to the plight of the Atlantic Rainforest at Chelsea [in 2010]. I also fully support the Trust’s drive to save as much of the ‘real thing’ as is humanly possible. Despite man’s sophistication we are unable to recreate anything quite so wonderful.”
Mark Sparrow, Curator of Horticulture and Botany at Chester Zoo, had helped create the WLT exhibit by loaning a selection of flowering orchids from part of the National Collection they hold, representing some of the rare and endemic species of the Atlantic Rainforest for the exhibit. Once he saw the completed exhibit he was determined that it should have a ‘life after Chelsea’. He organised for the Rangers Hut and garden to be transported to Chester where it has been stunningly recreated in the Tropical Realm, despite the best efforts of the Victoria Crowned Pigeon who decided to nest on the very spot where the exhibit was to be rebuilt. The chick of this, the largest pigeon species in the world, found only in New Guinea, successfully fledged and building could then commence.
Working together for conservation success
The main purpose of the visit to Chester Zoo was for WLT to meet with senior staff about future collaboration. Kelly Jacobs, WLT’s Education, Outreach and Training Officer, said:
“The meeting was really positive; we look forward to working with Chester Zoo on more projects in the future, to help support conservation across the world.”
Largely inspired by his involvement with WLT’s RHS Chelsea Flower show exhibit Mark Sparrow visited the REGUA reserve in April 2011. The aim of the field trip was to establish how the zoo could link their orchid collection with threatened orchid conservation in the wild. This is one of Chester Zoo’s many ongoing conservation projects. As part of their commitment to the conservation of this orchid habitat, Chester Zoo is supporting a ranger at REGUA for 2011. Without the dedication of reserve rangers, protecting threatened habitat and wildlife would be impossible. John Burton (WLT CEO) was so impressed by his visit to the zoo and their commitment to conservation that he blogged about it in his Green Diary.
More information about the Chelsea 2010 exhibit and WLT's work in the Atlantic Forest
- Discover more about WLT’s conservation work in the Atlantic Rainforest, protecting threatened habitat and wildlife in Brazil, Paraguay and the Misiones Province of Argentina.
- To read about volunteering in the heart of the Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest, see regular updates by Helen Cavilla who switched her job as Education Officer at Newquay Zoo for a six-month sabbatical at the REGUA reserve.
- Read more about the 2010 WLT Chelsea Exhibit